The Pitt men’s soccer team closed out the regular season 8-9, narrowly missing a .500 season. The year was filled with highlights of upset wins over ranked Syracuse, Columbia, and Notre Dame teams. The Panthers also looked to have a tie secured with No. 10 Virginia but lost in the final few minutes of double overtime.
Pitt now moves on to the ACC Tournament as the No. 10 seed where they’ll face No. 7 Notre Dame on Wednesday. The Panthers shocked the Irish with a 1-0 win in the regular season and they’ll need to pull off another big upset to advance. The match will be at 7:00 p.m. and available online via WatchESPN.
Having to play the Irish again is unfortunate. The good news is that Pitt has proven they can defeat them but the bad is that Notre Dame (ranked No. 16) is just a really good team. If the Panthers finished one spot up in the standings, they could have faced an unranked NC State team. The seeding could play into their favor if they win, however. A second-round match would come against North Carolina instead of No. ranked Wake Forest, the top team in the country. The Tar Heels are no slouch at No. 3 in the nation, but Wake Forest would probably be an even bigger challenge.
The year ended on a down note as the Panthers dropped their final three matches to Virginia, Akron, and Virginia Tech. Virginia and Akron are both ranked in the Top 15 so those weren’t disappointing losses but the 3-0 defeat this weekend to the Hokies on Senior Day hurt the team and was kind of an unexpectedly ugly result.
Nevertheless, 2017 was still a great one for a team that has routinely been at the bottom of the ACC and won only two matches last season. The program returns most of their key stars on offense and has a bright future ahead.